Things have not gone as planned this season through the first three months of the 2023 campaign for the San Diego Padres. They are in fourth place in the National League West and fading fast in the Wild Card race too.
Almost a year since adding Juan Soto in a trade and signing Xander Bogaerts in free agency, the team with the third-highest payroll in baseball just can find any consistency and put together a winning streak to get back in the races. With their place in the standings, it's getting to be crunch time for the Friars with the trade deadline a month away.
Whether or not they get back into the races for the postseason, there are plenty of scapegoats for the Padres in 2023. He is one scapegoat to trade, one to have patience with, and one to DFA.
San Diego Padres player scapegoat: patience with Matt Carpenter
It's safe to say that things have not gone the way San Diego or Matt Carpenter hoped it would when he signed a two-year, $12 million contract last December. Signed primarily to DH from the left side against right-handed pitching, he has struggled.
In 58 games this season, he's slashing .182/.311/.331 with four home runs, and 26 RBI in 148 plate appearances. Carpenter has slowly lost at-bats this season to Rougned Odor from the left side of the plate ... which poses the question, why are they still keeping him on the roster for $6 million this season?
Despite being 37 years old, Carpenter is still a valuable veteran off the bench. In 11 fewer games last season for the New York Yankees, he had 15 home runs and 37 RBI before an injury cut his season short. He still has pop in his bat and is someone that can still be a valuable piece to this team.
Is he the same player he was with the St. Louis Cardinals in his prime? No, of course not. However, he still brings veteran leadership to a team that is struggling and is a left-handed bat that can add pop to a lineup that is needed. San Diego needs to wait for him with some patience.